MA Creative Production (Music) Masters Degree

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Overview

This hyper flexible Creative Production Masters Degree is all about you. Your passion, your journey, your vision, your project and your future. Explore, develop, innovate and magnify your capabilities as a music producer, a sound engineer, a practising electronic music artist, a performer, a composer, a sonic artist or work with artistic practitioners from other fields whilst building and enhancing an artistic and creative industry profile.

Convert vulnerabilities into strengths, barriers into new pathways, pain points into pleasure and fears into exciting new frontiers for exploration. It’s a chance to explore all that you are and all that you are…not yet(!) whilst mapping out your future potential.

What Is Creative Production?

Creative production is an intentionally broad term. Music production, recording, composition, programming, performance, sound design, improvisation, instrument design, sound art, sound for games, sound for film, field recording, artistic research, critical theory, new media, or an innovative interdisciplinary form including some or all of the above. Your own imagination is the only limit. We’d be very happy to help you stretch it!

Course structure

Framework

Practice Based

Our Creative Production (Music) M.A provides a clear but flexible framework for negotiated and self-directed learning. Pursue your chosen interest or specialisation through an iterative practice-based research approach supported by seminars, workshops, informal meetings, our excellent studio facilities and individual supervision. Our seminars and workshops provide a thorough grounding in practice-led research theory and methodology alongside a wider range of research in sound, music and the arts. The taught component is not intended to give answers to your questions, but to stimulate curiosity, to widen and deepen frames of musical and conceptual reference and most importantly: to provide a set of tools with which to explore and develop your personal research ideas and concepts.

During this intensive and challenging year (2 year part-time) our team will supervise and guide you through a constant cycle of creating, critiquing, self discovery and growth. Design and develop your own practice based research programme surrounded by an inspiring community of students from around the world who will act as mentors, peers, collaborators, audience and fellow travellers.

Consider this a turning point, a moment to define or redefine the next chapter of your career whilst asking yourself this essential question:

Who are you and what do you plan to contribute to the world?

Session types
Skill

In our Skills Sessions we’ve had basic studio training for those who need it and introductions to multi-channel audio, audio processing and audio phenomena, analogue modular synthesis, light and sound, sensors and controllers, field recording, techniques for installations and Max MSP.

Thinking In Sounds

In our Thinking in Sound sessions we have listened to, read and discussed the work of many thinkers and artists, including Pauline Oliveros, Jacques Derrida, Éliane Radigue, David Hykes, Autechre, Denis Smalley, Roland Barthes, Oneohtrix Point Never, King Sunny Ade, Evolution Control Committee, Mark Fisher, Situationism, FKA Twigs, Iannis Xenakis, György Ligeti, Pierre Schaeffer, Stewart Lee, Susan Sontag, David Sylvian and Derek Bailey. 

Guest Artists

Presentations from guest artists include Nicolas Collins (composer, improviser, master-hacker), Sabine Vogel (Flute, Electronics, Composer, Installation), Insa Langhorst (Film-maker, Visual Anthropologist), and Bob Ostertag (Synthesist, Composer, Improviser, Theorist, Activist). 

Who does the course?

Our MA students this year come from a background of song-writing, house, techno, folk, Jazz, composition for dance choreography, experimental and electroacoustic music and free improvisation. The student projects in 2018/2019 include themes such as field recording/hydraulic sounds, artificial Intelligence, human voice and spirituality, hauntology, Janet Jackson, the roles of electronics and sampling in popular music, semiotics, free improvisation and song forms, interactive, delay network installation, culture jamming and 4D multichannel composition using the internationally unique Monom system based at the Funkhaus.

If you'd like to see an example project proposal scroll down. If you'd like to receive a final project portfolio from a recently graduated M.A. student, please get in touch with our Admissions team and we'll be happy to share the document with you for reference.

Is this course for me?

Here are a few reasons why people decide to take our MA programme:-

  • developing and growing your own individual project, creative concept or musical idea
  • strengthening and refining your creative vision and approach
  • deepening the relationship with your work within and beyond your own parameters
  • establishing your own distinct approach to creative production with research
  • expanding your understanding of other creative pathways
  • navigating between different aspects of musical inquiry and concepts
  • engaging in independent practice led research
  • developing new and innovative production techniques
  • receiving mentorship from field and industry experts
  • realising the full potential of your creative work
  • joining a progressive learning community supported by a dedicated team of experienced facilitators
  • living and working in Berlin, the most exciting city on the planet for music makers
  • collaborating with an artistic community of like minded people from 55 different countries
Testimonials
What is an MA project proposal and what should it contain?

Before filling in your application form we strongly advise you to get an initial overview on terms like Artistic Research and Practice-based Research. Here are some definitions and discussions to get you started. We will discuss such ideas in more depth on the course itself, especially at the beginning, to help you get going, design and initiate your project.

Read more

It's not about the gear

It's what you do with it

Progression

Building success

However you measure it and whatever artistic realm you are working in, most creatives would like to achieve success with their creative endeavour. There are many types of success an individual may want to achieve. From successful completion of an artistic exploration all the way through to financial security and a global audience

There are many skills required to develop these dreams into real and practical futures. Our optional course in self-development and leadership is the ‘rocket fuel’ which will provide you with the frameworks, the focus and the drive to help realise your future.

Self development to better understand how to take decisive action, to communicate powerfully with others and take an honest look at how you limit yourself. Leadership to complete your creative project, to bring your work into the external world and to attract an audience to share, appreciate and follow your work. 

Leadership
Employment model

The employment model in the music industry has transformed over the last 25 years. Roles with permanent contracts do still exist but it is much more likely that you will work either as a freelancer or as part of a small startup on your way to professional creative autonomy.

Music industry

The music industry never ceases to evolve and reinvent itself. We aim to provide you with an education that enables you to either be a change maker or to be capable of adapting and staying at the forefront of this change.

Here are some areas you may find yourself working in:-

Mastering engineer, producer, field recording, recording engineer,  mixing engineer, urban soundscape designer, live engineer for events or installations, mixing engineer, audio and music production for games, advertisement, film, interdisciplinary arts projects, audio production, remix engineering, contemporary DJ performances, recording artist, performance artist, audio creation for events and brands, creative advertising, sample packs for labels and other artists, sounds installations, programmer, sound and music for games and film, interdisciplinary arts projects, and working in related fields such as record labels, publishers, artist management companies to name but a few.

Our UK and Berlin centres have graduates working across the music industry from Abbey Road Recording Studios to the Glastonbury Festival and everything in between.

Our audio production and sound engineering degree tutors are industry experienced with a passion for passing on their knowledge to others. Say hello to some of the tutors that will be supporting you throughout your learning process.

Essential info

Entry requirements

An academic qualification equivalent to a bachelor degree is normally required to enter our Creative Production Masters degree programme. These may be waived if students are able to provide proof of capability via a portfolio of work.

The most important prerequisite for attending any course at Catalyst is that you must be passionate about building and developing your skills as a practising electronic music artist, producer or performer.

For more information please contact a member of the team. We love to chat!

Info hub
Course dates and application deadline

Start: mid-September 2023 (TBD)
Applications open in November -sign up to our newsletter to receive an alert

More info
Tuition fees

We offer two ways to pay:

  • a single payment
  • a payment plan with 10 instalments
More detail
How to apply

Our admissions team has prepared a handy little map of your journey to studenthood with us. Take a look and be in touch if you have any questions.

Admissions map PDF
Open days and taster workshops

Get a feel for our school from the comfort of your home with our Virtual Open Days and skill-focussed Taster Workshops.

Hosted by our team and students, these online events will give you a sense of what it's like to come and study with us in Berlin.

We look forward to meeting you online soon!

Learn more
Example project proposals

Creative Production allows for infinite possibilities. Important is that you show willingness to initiate, design and execute an independent artistic research project with academic credibility. Through your proposal, you will demonstrate that you have an established practice, a critical mind, and that you are ready for the scope of the challenge. The below documents are not to be used as templates. They are meant to give you an idea on the possible scope of your project.

If you're curious to see what a final project looks like, we would be happy to give you access to a finalised project portfolio from a recently graduated student. To gain access, please get in touch with our Admissions team.

Example Project Proposals

Ole-Jacob Sand's final project proposal

Shehryar Ahmad's initial template proposal

International learning community

Our international creative campus is located at the historic Funkhaus in Berlin – it’s hard to imagine a better location for creative endeavour and learning! Through the lense of an international cohort of students we aim to promote and support the exchange and debate of philosophical, political, social and ethical issues from a range of different cultures and backgrounds. Our engaged postgraduate community are then well placed to spearhead these conversations and create work that addresses the challenges of a multi cultural but ever more connected world. To see our shared concerns as human beings whilst celebrating our diversity and our mutually enrichening differences.

Behind the scenes

Making Music in Time: A Look at VIBKO’s Masters Project

Deep dive into the practice-based research project of Creative Production MA alumnus Ole-Jacob Sand, aka VIBKO, focusing on the creative potential of live performance in his final project, titled ‘Making Music in Time'.

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Catalyst Berlin Creative Music Production MA student Ole-Jacob Sand performing electronic live set

5 Concepts to Explore in our Innovative Creative Production Masters Degree

We explore five possible concepts for our Creative Production Masters Degree in music with the help of our tutors and students. 

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Catalyst Berlin at the Funkhaus

Creative Production MA lead Richard Scott on His Collaborative Release

We speak to our MA programme lead, synthesist Richard Scott, about his fascinating collaborative release with trumpet player Axel Dörner: A Journal of Elasticity.

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Richard Scott and Axel Doerner 'A Journal of Elasticity' released on Bohemian Drips